CHED calls to prioritize COVID-19 vaccination of students in limited in-person classes
Students wearing protective face masks have their temperatures taken while entering their college campus in Manila on January 31, 2020
AFP/Ted Aljibe

CHED calls to prioritize COVID-19 vaccination of students in limited in-person classes

Christian Deiparine (Philstar.com) - June 16, 2021 - 5:29pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Higher Education on Wednesday urged government to prioritize vaccinating for COVID-19 students who will participate in limited physical classes. 

Chairperson Prospero de Vera III earlier today reported that 73 colleges and universities have been allowed for the move in their medical and health-allied programs. 

In a Laging Handa briefing, he said students should be covered in inoculation efforts as they are already within 18 years of age.

"Those holding limited face-to-face are in their third to fourth year and are in their 20s," De Vera added in Filipino, "so they should be prioritized as they are qualified to be vaccinated."

The Philippines began vaccinating its citizens in March. Three months later, only 1.87 million have completed their shots, while more than five million got their first dose. 

Such efforts are also still on those in the government's priority list — or health workers, senior citizens, those with comorbidites, and recently, essential workers which count some 35 million in the group.

De Vera last month said CHED would meet with the pandemic task force on possible vaccination plans for students, but no results have been reported so far.

Other programs cleared for limited physical classes so far are nursing, medical technology, physical therapy, midwifery, and public health. 

The CHED chief said many of those in medicine who have returned on campus, students and instructors, have been vaccinated as they often have to come to hospitals.

"We sought help from the Department of Health and they were classified as medical frontliners hence giving them additional protection," he added in Filipino.

Classes in the K-12 and tertiary level in the Philippines remain mostly carried out remotely since the pandemic hit.

The agency has said that it will soon look to recommend additional programs for limited resumption, particularly those that require hands on training such as engineering, information technology, and maritime programs.

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